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For ‘Robert MacIntyre’ this week, read ‘Thomas Levet’ in 2004.

The Frenchman made his Ryder Cup bow at Oakland Hills 19 years ago and, as MacIntyre prepares for his own debut at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, who better than Levet to give him some words of wisdom.

He smiles all the time but the former Scottish Open champ beams widest of all when he recalls that incredible week in 2004.

Levet played three times and contributed a point courtesy of a one-up win over veteran American Fred Funk as Bernhard Langer’s Euros thrashed their hosts 18.5-9.5.

How MacIntyre would love a piece of that action for himself this week. Levet believes he can – if he can cope with one particular thing.

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“I expect Robert to just be himself,” he told “He’s a very good player, very talented. We’ve all seen it over the past three years.

“I think he has all the talent to be able to control what’s going to happen – but he’s British, so his native language might be a problem this week. He’s going to understand a lot better than I would what the crowd are going to be saying to him.

Levet celebrates Europe’s win over the US in the 2004 Ryder Cup (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)


“I’m French and I think in French. So when people are yelling to me in a foreign language, it doesn’t click immediately. Sometimes I pick up one word or two but it doesn’t bother me that much.

“But being British, and with a lot of English-speaking fans here this week, it’s going to be a lot different for Robert, so let’s hope that he can cope with it. He is talented enough to play well, for sure.”

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Levet added that MacIntyre will benefit from having lots of people around him with plenty of Ryder Cup experience, captain Luke Donald and the hugely experienced Jose Maria Olazabal amongst them.

“The emotions he is going to feel teeing off on the first tee will be unlike anything he’s ever experienced before,” said the six-time DP World Tour winner. “But he has lots of people who have been there before and who can prepare him for what to expect. Luke is one. ‘Chemma’ is another. They’ll be able to tell him what to expect. If you know what’s going to happen, you can prepare for it. If you don’t, it can be like ‘oh shit’ and you drop to the ground.

“I’m certainly not worried about his game. If I was the captain, I’d put him out in the fourballs because I know he makes a lot of birdies and he’s very dangerous with the putter. Let him go free.

“But if he came to me today and asked me my advice, I’d just tell him he can cope with it. He was born to do this. He’s practiced all his life for this moment. Now, it’s about just going and doing it and having fun. And look at the guys you’re playing. They’ll be feeling nervous, too. So, feed off that, stay calm and do your stuff.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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